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Scientists warn US congress of cancer risk from cellphone usage

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Excerpts from AP (26.09.2008):

“Precaution is warranted even in the absence of absolutely final evidence concerning the magnitude of the risk” — especially for children, said David Carpenter, director of the Institute of Health and Environment at the University of Albany, in testimony before a subcommittee of the US House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform. Ronald Herberman, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute — one of the top US cancer research centers — said that most studies “claiming that there is no link between cell phones and brain tumors are outdated, had methodological concerns and did not include sufficient numbers of long-term cell phone users.” Many studies denying a link defined regular cell phone use as “once a week,” he said. “Recalling the 70 years that it took to remove lead from paint and gasoline and the 50 years that it took to convincingly establish the link between smoking and lung cancer, I argue that we must learn from our past to do a better job of interpreting evidence of potential risk,” said Herberman. Carpenter and Herberman both told the committee the brain cancer risk from cell phone use is far greater for children than for adults. Herberman held up a model for lawmakers showing how radiation from a cell phone penetrates far deeper into the brain of a five-year-old than that of an adult. A paper published this month by the Royal Society in London found that adolescents who start using cell phones before the age of 20 were five times more likely to develop brain cancer at the age of 29 than those who didn’t use a cell phone. “It’s only on the side of the head where you use the cell phone [that the cancers develop],” Carpenter said. Source:Scientists warn US congress of cancer risk for cell phone use (AP, 26.09.2008)

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